Thursday, October 06, 2011

Goodbye, Old Friend

All good things must come to an end . . . and this blog is one of them.  

For various reasons that I will not bore you with, I am moving my blog.

You can now find me at

Hope to see you there!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Addiction

Some people are addicted to drugs.  Some to alcohol.  Some to coffee (Okay, you could argue that I have a slight addiction to coffee).  

But today I discovered that I am addicted to purging.  No, I'm not talking about hanging my head over a toilet & voiding my stomach of its contents.  Gross.  

I'm talking about opening that cabinet, drawer, closet, bin, whatever . . . & chucking everything that you don't want or don't need or don't love.


I've been reading a book on my new Kindle (a very thoughtful & much appreciated Christmas gift) -- The Joy of Less, a Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life.  And that got the ball rolling.

This morning, I tackled my kitchen cabinets . . . all 11 of them.  And the bench seat of our breakfast nook.  And the cabinets in the island.  And I chucked.  And chucked.  And chucked.  Okay, so I didn't chuck.  I sorted, priced, & stored in a Sterlite container for our moving sale in the spring.  Still, those unwanted, unneeded, unloved items are no longer in my living space.  

What a rush!! 

Incidentally, I think I may have passed this gene on to my daughter.  Caleigh cleaned out her drawer of notebooks, coloring books, & writing utensils.  Her comment to me afterwards was, "Mom, I feel sooo good now that that's done!"

I've created a monster.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

This is the Semester that Never Ends

It happens every year.  Right around this time.  I don't know why I am ever surprised.  

My birthday, Thanksgiving, the end of Jason's semester, our anniversary (10 years this year), & Christmas are all within a month of each other.  And somehow our life gets completely out of control!!

I want to go out & shop 'til I drop . . . but there's reading to be done.
I want to spend the day cooking delicious side dishes & all manner of Christmas cookies . . . but there are papers to be written.
I want the family to be together & soak in the holiday season . . . but there are projects to finish.

And so, every year, right around this time . . . I just hate seminary!

Our tree is up, some presents are wrapped, there's a chill in the air, hot cocoa fills our mugs, cookies are ready to go in the oven . . . but one very important thing is missing.  


My best friend, lover, husband, father of my children.

And it's always around this time, in the midst of my seminary-loathing, that I find a deeper love & appreciation for this man.

He would love to shop, to bake, to spend time.  But he's being faithful to that which God has called him to accomplish.  And it's only temporary.  Just for a season.  

And so, I will keep the home fires burning, knowing that this time next week, Jason will be finished with another semester's work.  Perhaps we'll be out shopping.  Or maybe we'll be baking cookies.  Or maybe he'll being snuggling Brooks.  Or perhaps playing a game with Peyton.  Maybe we'll be wrapping some of Caleigh's presents while she's at school.  Whatever we'll be doing, we'll definitely be soaking in the holiday season!! 

And counting down the days until graduation!!!!  158 . . . but who's keeping track?!? 

Monday, December 06, 2010

Great Gift Idea

We all have them . . . those people in our lives that we just don't know what to get for Christmas. What to do? Gift card? Socks? Tie?

Well, I found the perfect gift for a few of the ladies in my life. Let me tell you what it is. But first, how I got there . . .

I was surfing Facebook one morning, when a picture caught my eye. It was a profile picture of a girl, wearing a hat with the coolest fabric flower attached to it. The picture belonged to an old friend of mine from high school. Apparently, she was sporting said flower that day & wanted to share the link for the Etsy store where she purchased it. A second thing then caught my eye -- the name of the flower designer . . . Meg Anthony.

"That's funny." I thought to myself. "I went to college with a girl named Megan who was dating a guy with the last name of Anthony." So off I went to check this out. Click.

Sure enough, there was the girl I knew from college -- 1 husband & 3 boys later. First, I checked out her store. Cool, cool, cool!! Fabric flower accessories & belts!! I could almost hear the Sound of Music -- "These are a few of my favorite things . . . " Then I checked out her blog. And I was sold! Not far into Meg's story, I discovered that we share the common pain of miscarriage. And now Meg is making & selling her goods on Etsy to raise money to adopt a daughter from Honduras.

I immediately made a few purchases. Some for Christmas gifts. And some, I admit, for myself. Very chic accessories . . . even better cause.

So check it out:

I bet you wish you are on my Christmas list, huh!?!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I LOVE to shop!! Just ask my husband. But one of the things I love best about this time of the year is the cooking! I LOVE to cook!!

So tomorrow, I will be cooking a Christmas Feast for 50 - 60 hungry seminarians. If you're in the area, stop on by. You won't want to miss this!

Here's the menu:

Regular Glazed Ham
Honey Glazed Ham
Ham with Pineapple
Sauteed Green Beans
Candied Sweet Potato Souffle
Mashed Potatoes
Crispy Mac & Cheese
Raspberry Jello Salad
Dinner Rolls

Just about to pop the Candied Sweet Potato Souffles into the oven! Next, Crispy Mac & Cheese!!!!

I love the holidays!!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Our Family of Five

At long last, Brooks Michael is here. Well, he's been here for a while, but this is the first chance I have had to sit with my computer & reflect on the experience.

Those of you who know me well, know that Brooks was making his presence known almost every day for the last 2 months of my pregnancy. At least 2 nights a week were spent sleepless with contractions, only to have them stop come morning. It was one false alarm after another. For the baby we feared would be too early, he certainly was taking his good ol' time.

It was Thursday, September 30th. The effects of Hurricane Nicole were being felt in Pennsylvania & Myerstown was starting to flood in selective areas. Jason & I braved treacherous roads to make what would be our last OB appointment where I begged to have my membranes swept {For those of you who don't know what that is, you may Google it at your leisure. I will spare you the gory details}. Shortly after arriving home, we headed up to the seminary kitchen to begin cooking our weekly meal for 30-40 seminary students.

As I was cooking, the contractions were coming in waves. But after 2 months of false alarms, I thought nothing of it. But goodness knows, I was making some seminary students VERY nervous.

After dinner clean-up was over, we went home & I began my usual puttering around the house. As I was sweeping the kitchen floor, the contractions were getting a bit more regular & a bit stronger. Taking the weather into consideration & the fact that Jason's parents (who were coming to get the girls when I went into labor) were over an hour away, we thought maybe a phone call was in order. Before we could get to a phone, another contraction came & my water broke. Okay, now we're serious!

All calls were placed & in between contractions, you could find me updating Twitter & Facebook. :) My best friend/doula, Sharon arrived around 9 pm. I think she was hoping birth was imminent & we could deliver right there in the livingroom! Nothing would have pleased her more! I wasn't feeling it, so off to the hospital we went.

We arrived at 9:30 pm & I was begging for an epidural. I had forgotten the time needed to insert the IV & to also consume a full bag of fluids before the anesthesiologist would be called. So I labored. And I screamed. And I did not handle myself with grace and dignity. It hurt.

Shortly after 11 pm, I finished my required bag of fluids & was informed that the anesthesiologist had indeed been called. Almost immediately after hearing that good news, I had 4 peel-me-off-the-ceiling contractions . . . & I knew that even if the anesthesiologist did show up, there was NO WAY I was getting my epidural. I was too far gone. The new nurse on duty came in to check my progress. Nurse Judy. Brave Nurse Judy. As she lifted the sheet, contraction #5 hit me with a vengeance & I said, "I have to push!!"

Now, let me take a moment to set the stage here. The bed I was in had not been broken away to prepare for the pushing stage of labor. The table with instruments for delivery was not in the room. The doctor was down the hall. And perhaps most shocking & horrifying of all, my father was still in the room!!

Nurse Judy took a peek & verified that, yes, I indeed needed to push. She was rather concerned by the fact that she was not wearing gloves. I could not have cared less at that moment & kept telling her to go ahead & touch him with her bare hands!! She told Jason to get her a pair of gloves from the box hanging on the wall behind him. In the time it took Jason to turn around, grab the gloves, & turn back, Brooks was already on the bed. 11:31 pm. 6 pounds 12 ounces.

I spent the rest of the night saying, "I can't believe I did that."

Brooks is 2 months old today. I am able to sit here & blog, forming coherent sentences because he has started sleeping through the night & is currently up in his crib, out for the count. He is a sweet, sweet boy & such a wonderful addition to our family. Everyone (especially his sisters) adores him.

We did discover around 1 month old that Brooks has a hole in his heart. He is being monitored closely & will have more tests done after Christmas, but we are holding fast to the faith that the Healer has His hand on Brooks' heart.

So now we're a family of five. That has taken me a bit to get used to. I think when you leave the baby stage, you develop a type of amnesia. In the first several weeks, I often caught myself saying, "Oh yeah, I forgot about that."

But in the first several weeks, I also caught myself laughing at the idea that Jason & I thought we were done having children after Peyton. Hee, hee. Even funnier was the idea that I never wanted a boy. Hee, hee, hee. From the moment I laid eyes on him, I was in love.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Pregnancy Brain

Once upon a time, I had this grandiose idea that I would blog all throughout this pregnancy -- complete with monthly photos of the baby belly, OB appointment updates, & general exciting baby info.

And then pregnancy set in.

And I got sick. Really sick. Really, really sick. I don't think I moved from the recliner in the livingroom for 3 months. I lived my life in 3-hour increments -- the amount of time between double doses of Zofran. And I slept. And slept. And slept.

Once the sickness passed, a new aspect of pregnancy set in. Nesting!! I was a mover & a shaker. Too much to do. Too little time. I had "To Do" lists plastered on the walls in every room (much to my husband's displeasure). I had grand ideas of projects I wanted to accomplish to ensure that everything was just perfect for this little one's arrival.

Once everything was finished to my satisfaction, I discovered the joys of Pregnancy Brain. That fuzzy, muddled experience you have when someone asks you even the most basic of questions. I recall being at an appointment where I was asked to verify my phone number. The poor woman kept repeating my phone number to me while I kept insisting that it wasn't mine. Needless to say, every time I sat down to blog, my mind drew a complete blank. It wasn't for lack of things to report -- on the contrary, our life has been very busy. I just couldn't put 2 coherent sentences together.

So here I am. Five days away from my due date & I'm blogging. To be quite honest, I think I'm doing it primarily to help pass the time. I still have Pregnancy Brain to a degree, but I think the cloud may be lifting.

So what have the Dickinsons been up to in the past 9 months???

JASON is now in his last year of seminary. He is only taking 2 classes this semester which affords him more time with our expanding family & more time to focus on church work as he continues to pastor at Fleetwood Bible Church. We were so proud of him as he received the Kathryn Dech Memorial Scholarship earlier this fall which is awarded to the MDiv student with the highest GPA.

CALEIGH turned 6 & started 1st grade this fall. She is adjusting wonderfully to her new setting & is even riding the bus!!! I never thought we would see the day when she would be so independent. She has fallen in love with Junie B. Jones & is absolutely devouring those books!! The most exciting news of all, however, are her 2 loose front teeth.

PEYTON is home with Mommy for one more year. She turned 4 in the spring & celebrated her birthday with a very special purchase . . . her kitty cat, Sugar Cookie. Peyton comes to all my OB appointments & is probably the most excited of all for this baby's arrival!

BROOKS MICHAEL is expected to make an appearance any day now. We are anxiously awaiting his arrival. The doctors were certain that he would arrive before September. And while we are thrilled that he made it full term, we are getting more & more impatient with every passing day.

{Brooks = my maternal grandfather's name & my uncle's name. Michael = my brother's middle name & Jason's brother's middle name.}

So there you have it. And while I will be busy with the arrival of a newborn, I certainly hope 9 more months do not pass before my next post.